Why Do Sequels Always Have To Be Better?

If a sequel to anything…book, movie, album, video game…is not better than the previous entry, then it is completely hated by most of the world.

I can understand that people want something to be better, for why make a new product that is inferior to the last? But to expect something to always constantly be better, especially in long running series’ or bands that have been together for decades, it’s just not realistic and not possible.

Say something like the first video game in a series is very good. The sequel is just “good.” This really means, it’s garbage and a stain upon the earth! This sequel should be “extremely good,” then the third needs to be “exceptionally good,” fourth “positively great,” and then the fifth “flawless.” Any made after that is doomed to fail, assuming the series succeeded in the impossible task of making each game better than the last up until that point.

This is a challenging task in itself, but you’ve also have to compete against nostalgia and expectation, two things that doom every product to fail…in one way or another.

If people really like something in a title, then their expectations run wild within their imagination for the next entry. The internet does little to help, by releasing rumors and getting a dozen “hype trains” in motion, so that by the time the product actually releases, fans have these insane delusions of what the product should be, so that it will never be good enough, despite how good it is or not. They never even consider things the creators face, such as time, and budget, and such resources like that.

And nostalgia, that’s it. If someone is nostalgic over something, then it’s over. Every single product is doomed to fail in that series. Nostalgia asks the entertainment business to recreate a feeling or memory that consumer experienced during the the first thing they played, read, listened to, or watched in that series.

This is simply not possible, mostly because that feeling is caused because it is the first time becoming part of that series. These feelings may have nothing to do with the product itself, even, but from something happening in their life at that time that makes them very happy. These feelings can’t be replicated, they just can’t. Especially if they were first experienced as a small child, versus now being an adult.

I made a post going a bit deeper with nostalgia, so I won’t say too much now.

The point is, people need to stop comparing sequels to the other entries in their series’ and simply look at them as they are. Sure it can be fun to compare them, but just because an older one is better, doesn’t mean the new one isn’t good.

I have long learned that going into anything with any personal wishes, hopes, or expectations of any kind, will destroy your experience and you will be sorely disappointed. The likelihood of something meeting someone’s exact expectations, or even some of them, is the equivalent of winning the lottery.

But going in with an open mind, with only entertainment as your goal, then you’ll experience the product with an unbiased vision, and therefore judging it as it is, not by what it should be or what it was, or what you wished it was.

 

Nostalgia Goodies In Eminem’s “Marshal Mathers LP 2”

Eminem’s latest solo album is chock full of nods, throw backs and all sorts of nostalgia from earlier works in his career. I am here to compile a list of them, picking out and listing everyone I notice. I highly doubt I will recognize all of them, so please help out on any I’ve missed that you may have picked up on!

Well to start things off, the title “Marshal Mathers LP 2” is a sequel to his second major release, the “Marshal Mathers LP” 13 years earlier. A fitting name, as I am rather certain Eminem was going for a retro feel with plenty of nostalgia for this album. The album cover is even him sitting on the same steps in front of his old home, the exact picture of the first album, except now the house is boarded up and worse for wear. Cool!

Now let’s dive into the actual cd.

Track 01: Bad Guy

The song in it’s entirety is a sequel to Stan from the “Marshal Mathers LP,” told in the eyes of the late Stan’s little brother, who is indeed mentioned briefly in the first song.

A specific nod is at 4:05 when Matthew gives Em back an autographed hat that the rapper sends to him in the first song.

Right after that at 4:14, he recites lyrics from Criminal from the “Marshal Mathers LP.”

Matthew repeats the actions of his brother by driving high speed on a bridge with a live victim locked in the trunk. 5:01 he says to Eminem the same words Stan says on his suicide tape…”well, gotta go, almost at the bridge.” There is even an under toned “haha” after the lyric.

Track 02: Parking Lot (Skit)

This is the continuation to the skit that plays during the song Criminal. Listeners get to see what happens after he shoots the clerk and shouts “Thank you!” That is exactly where this new skit picks up in fact.

Track 03: Rhyme or Reason

At 0:57, he uses a clip of him yelling “die hard” from Bad Meets Evil’s Welcome 2 Hell, from their album “Hell: The Sequel.”

4:44, he says “Criminal” in the exact way he does in the chorus of the song Criminal.

Track 04: So Much Better

I did not pick up on anything in this song

Track 05: Survival

None here either

Track 06: Legacy

I got nothing…

Track 07: Asshole

Right after the first chorus at 1:18, Em says “thanks for the support asshole” and then repeats it. The way it is presented and repeated makes it seem like a big intentional nod to his lyric, “Dear Dave, thanks for the support, asshole” from the song My Name Is, off of the “Slim Shady LP.”

Exactly one minute later (2:18) he parodies a line from Lose Yourself from “8 Mile.” The original line is “The soul’s escaping through this hole that is gaping,” which he changes to “My soul’s escaping through this asshole that is gaping.”

There is another throwback to one of his older lines at 3:53. The lyric is “it’s apparent I shouldn’t have been a parent,” no doubt calling back to the “Marshal Mathers LP” song Who  Knew‘s line “apparently you ain’t parents.”

The last throwback for this one is the last few lines of the song…”White America’s mirror, so don’t feel awkward or weird, if you stare at me and see yourself, because you’re one too.” This is more subtle, but these lines are basically what the whole song White America from “The Eminem Show” is all about.

Track 08: Berserk

Though this song is filled with mentions, references and samples from many other celebrities, nothing so much about his own songs.

Track 09: Rap God

Right at the beginning, he repeats over and over again, “six minutes Slim Shady, you’re on.” This is not the first time this has been said, originally on the song Remember Me off of the “Marshal Mathers LP.”

The next is rather obvious, as he himself points out a line from the “Marshal Mathers LP,” at 3:43, referring that it was once censored, but no longer isn’t as he repeats the entire line, originally recorded on the song I’m Back.

Tracok 10: Brainless

I didn’t notice any here.

I will complete the rest of the album next week. See you then!